With a perfect record and a record-breaking season under its belt, the Boston College women’s hockey team skated into the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire to do what it fell short of last year—win an NCAA championship.
Like last year, the team spent the majority of its season seated firmly at No. 1. Unlike last season, though, the team neither tied nor lost a single game and managed to secure a spot in the NCAA championship game.
So when the puck dropped to initiate the contest between the Boston College Lady Eagles (40-0-0) and the Minnesota Lady Gophers (34-4-1), the Lady Eagles knew that they were one game away from a perfect season.
In the first period, The Lady Gophers came out firing, shocking the Lady Eagles by netting a goal 13 seconds into the game. Minnesota freshman forward Sarah Potomak managed to beat Boston College sophomore goalie Katie Burt.
For a group that averaged a mere 1.2 goals allowed per game, the Lady Eagles hadn’t expected such a quick deficit—or one at all, for that matter.
Throughout both the first and second period, the Lady Eagles fought hard to squash their deficit while the Lady Gophers fought hard to extend their lead. Despite both teams’ efforts, Minnesota’s goal—scored 13 seconds into the game—managed to hold up throughout both periods.
With a one-goal deficit, the Lady Eagles entered the final period of their season—one that they knew could solidify or demolish perfection. The Lady Eagles came out running on all cylinders, peppering Minnesota senior goalie Amanda Leveille with dozens of shots. Despite their best efforts, they still could not manage to find the back of the net.
To make matters worse, Minnesota senior forward Amanda Kessel managed to beat Katie Burt stick side to score a goal with 11:29 remaining in the third. With fewer than 12 minutes left, the Lady Eagles trailed 2-0.
With 6:48 left in the game, Minnesota sophomore forward Kelly Panek netted one final goal to secure a three-goal lead.
Less than one minute later, with 5:53 left in the game, Boston College freshman forward Makenna Newkirk gave the Lady Eagles a breath of life with a long-range shot assisted by Megan Keller and Andi Anastos.
Still in a two-goal hole with fewer than six minutes left in the game, the Lady Eagles put every ounce of effort they had into scoring another couple of goals. Several opportunities—including a promising six-on-five drive—abounded, but the Lady Eagles could not manage to sneak the puck past Minnesota’s brick wall of a goalie, Amanda Leveille.
As the final seconds of the game expired, the Lady Gophers piled onto the ice to celebrate their back-to-back NCAA championships. Meanwhile, the Lady Eagles skated off the ice, having fallen just short of perfection.